People are judgmental about everything. That includes your website. They will judge your business based on the design and the user experience in just a few milliseconds.
Not seconds, milliseconds. They will look at your site and decide if they will explore your site further and work with you or buy from you.
Your job is to make sure that the design and the user experience are top-notch. You need to know what the elements of user experience are to design a site for them.
Keep reading to find out what they are.
How well does your website look on mobile phones and tablets? This wasn’t too much of a concern in the early days of websites because everyone used a desktop computer.
Now, with laptops, hundreds of different phones, and other devices, you have to make sure your site looks great on any screen. It could be a 21” Apple monitor or a 5” phone display.
Responsiveness is an important consideration because half of all internet users are mobile.
How can your users find the information that they need? That’s what navigation does. You want to make sure that the information on your website is easy to find, no matter how many pages your site has.
Have a menu with the most important pages that users will want to find—your blog, contact information, your company’s background, and the services you offer. For restaurants, have your menu be front and center.
If you have an eCommerce site with hundreds of SKUs, you’re going to need a way to organize information. You don’t want each product to appear in your main menu. What you can do is have a search bar and your major product categories in your menu (men’s clothes, women’s clothes, women’s shoes, etc.).
Do people have to squint to read your website? Text that’s too small can be very hard to read on mobile devices. Text that’s too big will make users use horizontal scrolling, which is bad for the user experience.
Most website design templates allow you to set font sizes for mobile, desktop, and tablets. Generally speaking, you want to set uniform H1, H2, and body text tags for each type of device.
You may need to test your pages on a variety of devices before you decide which sizes are the best for your site.
The fonts you use have an impact on readability, too. Script or cursive writing, while pretty, can be hard to make out on mobile devices.
One of the most important elements of user experience is how long your site takes to load on devices. People are just as impatient as they are judgemental. If it takes more than three seconds for your site to load, you’ll lose visitors.
Google did a study and found that site speed has a direct correlation to conversions. The less load time, the higher the conversion rate and vice versa.
How can you speed up your website? Make sure that images are compressed, use caching, and use a speed test tool.
This has to become part of the conversation for website owners who monetize their sites through advertising. Before you build a website, you want to make sure you can build it with advertising in mind.
It has a big impact on user experience. It can slow your site down dramatically while your ad network loads ads on your site. Ads can also interrupt readers while they’re in the middle of an article.
It’s a balance between making money and keeping your readers happy. You have to make a decision as to how many ads you’ll have, the type, and where they’ll appear.
You want people to sign up for your email list. There are good ways to do that, and there are bad ways to do that. One of the bad ways is to have pop-ups appear asking people to sign up for your email list.
Some designers see them as a necessary evil. Others see them as user experience killers.
You have to decide what’s best for your website. You may have the bulk of your traffic come from visitors on mobile devices. In that case, a pop-up will just get turned off, or your users will leave the site.
For desktop visitors, you can limit the interruptions by using an exit-intent pop-up. This type of pop-up appears when the user’s mouse goes outside of the browser window, which is a sign that they’re looking somewhere else.
An alternative to pop-ups is to have an inline email form that appears in the middle of your content. This way, users aren’t annoyed by dealing with pop-ups.
How to Make Your Site User-Friendly
It’s a lot to begin the process of making your site user-friendly. How can you start to bring your site back to the user experience?
Start with an audit of your site. You can do the audit yourself or you can hire a UX design agency to give you an honest assessment.
Doing the audit yourself? Look at it on different devices. Note how each element of the user experience listed here is on your site. If your site takes forever to load, note that. If the font is hard to read, note that too.
Once you have your list of items to improve, you can work with an agency or fix them yourself. In both cases, you want to prioritize what needs to be fixed on your site.
The Elements of User Experience Equals Happy Customers
Website users have become more sophisticated over time. They’re also more demanding. They have high expectations, and you have one tiny window to meet them.
Knowing the elements of user experience helps you create a website that you can be proud of and that users will love. You have to keep in mind that your site has to load fast and be simple to use.
That’s what will keep them on your site and turn them into customers.